Tin Pei Ling, the youngest PAP candidate

Most of the news said her name to be Ms. Tin Pei Ling. One said she's Ms. Rina Tin Pei Ling. And my point? Well, not to debate the accuracy of the news, but more to highlight this impressive PAP candidate who sparkles not just because she's the youngest ever candidate. Besides so many other articles highlighting on her achievement, do take a look at her impressive speech, "Globalisation – High & Low" during PAP Convention on 11/11/07.

Ms Tin Pei Ling

Ms Tin, a senior associate at Ernst & Young Advisory, is the youngest candidate to be fielded thus far.

But Mr Lim said whether age was a barrier for Ms Tin would depend on her performance.

"It is through your deeds of what you do that demonstrate your sincerity of wanting to serve and whether you put their interests first and foremost," Mr Lim said.

"And when you do this over time, people will judge you and people will decide whether you are someone they can look to, to trust."

Ms Tin added: "Although I am young, I have the energy, the youthfulness, the attitude and willingness to learn and serve the people I will represent.

"Although I have been in the grassroots for the past seven years, I have deep respect for the senior grassroots leaders and the volunteers I have come in contact with.

"I have always learnt from them that it is about serving with a heart.

"At the end of the day, age shouldn't be an issue. It is about the potential and capacity to learn, to reach out to people of different segments and to come out with meaningful initiatives and solutions to help them".

Over the last four years, Ms Tin been involved in business and management consultancy work for both public- and private-sector organisations.

Her work experience includes strategic thinking and planning, change management and performance management.

The PAP said Ms Tin has been deeply involved in grassroots and community work for seven years.

She is an active Internet user and has been playing an active role in YP Media, which she currently heads.

Ms Tin said she sees new media as a platform to give voice to people from all walks of life, to share good ideas and to promote understanding across different values and viewpoints.

"Our own activists have to be active out there in the social media realm," Ms Tin said.

"Currently it is quite dominated by some of the netizens who are more pro-opposition or anti-establishment from the bulk of comments that we always see.

"one (of the things) we can do is for our young activists to engage netizens on serious topics and issues to find out more of what they are concerned with and try to put forth our point of view."

Ms Tin is currently understudying MP for MacPherson Matthias Yao.

According to an entry on the Marine Parade Facebook page, "MParader", Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has agreed to let Ms Tin contest and serve in MacPherson.

The division has been absorbed into the Marine Parade GRC under the latest Electoral Boundaries Review report.

Also according to "MParader", incumbent MacPherson MP, Matthias Yao has given Ms Tin high marks and that he found her "mature, bright, pleasant and able to connect with young the and old".

Partially quoted from Channel NewsAsia, "GE: PAP unveils third batch of new GE candidates".

But the spotlight fell on Ms Tin Pei Ling, 27 - the youngest PAP candidate since former Member of Parliament Ng Kah Ting was fielded for the first time in 1963 at age 23 and former Speaker of Parliament Tan Soo Khoon in 1976, also at age 27.

Ms Tin, who found herself taking on a slew of questions from reporters, acknowledged there "would be some room" for her to grow and build her experience. "Although I'm young, I have the energy, the youthfulness, the willingness to learn and serve the people I represent," said Ms Tin, who has been a grassroots leader since she was 21.

She added: "Age shouldn't be an issue. It's really about the potential and the capacity to learn, to reach out to people of different segments and to understand them and come out with meaningful initiatives, solutions or ways to help them."

Mr Lim, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, said her candidacy was "not unusual", as the PAP needed to bring in younger people to hone their skills while renewing Parliament.

"In the past, they had to serve in single constituencies where demands on them were much higher," he said.

"Today, a young candidate like Pei Ling will stand in a GRC, and she'll have the support of older members of Parliament in her constituency. So we're in a much more fortunate situation today. For those in the constituency who aren't as comfortable talking to such a young person, they can look for someone older."

According to an entry last night on the PAP's Marine Parade Facebook page, Ms Tin will contest and serve in the MacPherson division, now part of Marine Parade GRC, for the GE. The Facebook entry said that incumbent MacPherson MP Matthias Yao has given her high marks. He found her "mature, bright, pleasant and able to connect with young and old".

Ms Tin is married to civil servant Ng How Yue, who is principal private secretary (PPS) to the Prime Minister.

When she was asked if her husband had shaped her political aspirations, Mr Lim weighed in and pointed out that Ms Tin was volunteering in Ulu Pandan grassroots before Mr Ng became PPS.

She added that she was "pretty independent minded": "If anything, it's the influence of my parents because my father was a grassroots leader."

Ms Tin hopes to have children in the "near future". Asked how this may impact her MP work if she is elected, she said she would "fall back" on the grassroots leaders and her other GRC MPs. "Even if I'm on maternity leave, I'd still be keeping an eye on what's happening because I can still work from home ... So, I don't foresee a problem," she said.

Partially quoted from Today, "Spotlight on youngest candidate since 1976".

DON'T be surprised if you receive a message on social-networking website Facebook from Ms Tin Pei Ling soon.

The new People's Action Party (PAP) candidate intends to use social media to reach out to the younger generation in the lead-up to the upcoming election.

Ms Tin, who sits on the executive committee of the party's youth wing, Young PAP (YP), said: "By building a friendship online, we can then take them into the real world where we sit down, face to face, to interact with each other...and we can have a more constructive discussion."

She also heads YP Media, the team set up to drive YP's virtual, technological and digital outreach. At 27, the senior associate at professional-services company Ernst and Young is the youngest PAP candidate to be introduced so far.

She was speaking at the PAP headquarters in New Upper Changi Road yesterday, where the party's third batch of three fresh candidates was unveiled by PAP chairman Lim Boon Heng.

Having observed sentiments aired online on various political issues, Ms Tin said: "Our own activists need to be active out there in the social-media realm...and engage netizens on serious topics."

Her age is also a cause of contention, with netizens expressing their doubts about her capabilities and ability to connect with the older generation.

However, Ms Tin feels that her youth will not be an issue. She has had experience serving as a grassroots leader in the Ulu Pandan ward in Holland-Bukit Timah GRC since the age of 21.

From Asiaone, "PAP youngest candidate has tech savvy edge".

MS TIN Pei Ling's path to politics began in a Ghim Moh coffee shop owned by her father, where she helped serve tea and coffee as a junior college student.

She soon began accompanying her Chinese-educated father, who is also a grassroots leader, on market visits and to community events.

'He had problems communicating in English, so I became the impromptu translator or interpreter,' she said.

Late one night, when she was an undergraduate at the National University of Singapore, Ms Tin dropped by the coffee shop and came across a group of Ulu Pandan grassroots volunteers. They were having supper after their weekly Meet-the-People sessions. The group included the then MP, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan.

'My father introduced me to the volunteers, and to Dr Vivian. They said, why don't you join us at the Meet-the-People sessions?

'It sounded interesting. I thought I would give it a shot. I've been at those sessions since then.'

After seven years of volunteering, Ms Tin, at the age of 27, on Monday became the youngest woman candidate to be unveiled by the People's Action Party in recent history, and the youngest candidate since former PAP MP Ng Kah Ting was fielded in 1963 at the age of 23.

Partially quoted from Straits Times, "She wants to be voice for youth".

Wearing a jaunty white cap and coloured hair, the ceremony’s energetic emcee, Ms Tin Pei Ling, 26, stood out. Her youth and zest garnered her one of five medals given to outstanding young PAP members.

She is currently the vice-chairman of the Young PAP sub-committee in the Ulu Pandan branch.

The business and management consultant told Petir that she was approached to join the Party five years ago, at a coffeeshop in Ghim Moh Block 19.

“My father, who is active at the grassroots level, ran a coffeeshop where Dr Vivian Balakrishnan and PAP volunteers went for supper after meet-the-people sessions,” said Ms Tin, an only child who used to help translate for her Chinese-educated father.

“One night he asked me to go and say hi, and Dr Vivian asked me to help out in the MPS sessions. How could I say no?”

She now compiles online feedback about the PAP. Some of it is cynical, she said. “Maybe some young people feel a need to be different and they express it by being anti-establishment.”

Partially quoted from Petir November/December 2009, "Fresh blood".

尊敬的党领导及各位同志朋友们,早上好!我是行青团,也是乌鲁班丹支部的陈佩玲。非常感谢大会容许我针对“收入差距,贫富悬殊” 这个课题,以双语发表看法。

Respectable party leaders and comrades, good morning to you all. My name is Tin Pei Ling from the Young PAP (Ulu Pandan). I am grateful to have this opportunity to share my views in two languages on the topic of the widening income gap.

相信这个课题已不是什么新鲜事。在考虑贫富悬殊这项难题的当儿,不仅是考量收入差距是否越来越大,更值得关注的是那些属于“贫困” 的一群是否能,最低限度,生存并避免恶性循环。对于这个日趋严重的问题,许多人怨天怨地,更怨政府。可是,这真的只是政府的责任吗?我,不以为然。

This is not a new topic. Besides studying whether the gap is widening, it is more important to find out if the lowest-income group is able to get by and not fall into the vicious cycle. Many people are complaining and blaming the government for this problem. But is this really the responsibility of the government? I don’t think so.

政府可以从宏观的角度,设立强有力的架构协助我们成功,但这是不够的。所谓:” 国家兴亡,匹夫有责” 。每个人,不分你我,对国家有责任,对周围的同胞们也有责任!

The government, at the macro level, can set up a robust framework to help us be successful, but this is not enough. As the Chinese saying goes, the individual has a responsibility towards the survival and success of the country. Everyone, besides a duty for the nation, also has an obligation to the fellow countrymen around him.


Today, I am not trying to find a reason for the situation. We should not just talk about it, but need to be proactive in finding a solution. Please excuse my boldness in offering two suggestions, and two more in my English speech.

第一项,我们要自强不息,力争上游;不断地自我调适,自我更新!许多人认为做人难,做新加坡人更难!从某些角度来看,这或许是真的。可人生又曾几何时是尽如人意的?我们应该要了解,环球发展不会为了新加坡,更不会为了你或我而放慢。尽管政府再怎么尽全力地资助或扶持我们,这始终不是万全之策 -- 治标不治本。

First of all, we need to persevere and strive for continuous improvement, adjustment and rejuvenation. A lot of people think that making a living is difficult, I think making a living in Singapore is even more difficult! We need to understand that globalization will not slow down for Singapore, or you and me. No matter how hard the government tries to subsidise and help us, it will just be treating the problem superficially without solving the root.


The government is like a ship and it can help us reach our destination safely and smoothly. However, this ship still needs to be operated by people. In other words, we still play the critical role ourselves. If we are not helping ourselves, how can we solve the problem?


Secondly, we need to learn from our forefathers and seniors. We should emulate and promote their value systems and spirit of endurance. Our party is 53 years old, many pioneers are still active today. They have lived through the years of turbulence, under very poor living conditions, but they did not give up. They bite the bullet and helped to build a strong foundation for Singapore. Take my own father as an example, when he was a young man in the sixties, he struggled even with three meals a day. If he dropped 20 cents, he would have to starve for a day and walk all the way home from school. Despite all these, his generation worked hard and succeeded ultimately. This is something we should learn from.


Hence, even when the economic environment is not favourable, we must continue to persevere, work hard and make a difference!

A very good morning to Party Chairman, Secretary-General and fellow comrades! My name is Tin Pei Ling from the Young PAP (Ulu Pandan).

I thank you for the opportunity to speak today, and I thank my fellow YP comrades for sharing their insights with me online. Allow me to share these with you.

Singapore’s income gap is growing. The Gini coefficient for Singapore had increased from 0.442 to 0.472 in year 2000, before adjusting for Government benefits and taxes. From an economic standpoint, this suggests a growing income inequality.

This widening of income gap is a complex challenge faced by every society. And to tackle this, it helps to break it down and address the components accordingly.

Getting the Economics Right

To address the rich-poor gap, we must first ascertain the possibility of becoming rich in the first place! Hence, from a macro-level, we must be able to progress and hold our own against giant, booming economies such as China and India. We must not easily fall prey to the short-sighted proposals made by the Opposition, who push for either protectionism or welfarism! We are Singaporeans who have dignity and integrity. We can achieve much if we are willing to put in the effort. And we should not yield to these temptations (short-term wins), as other greater nations than ours did and been the worse for it.

From a micro-level, and of most immediate concern, those at the bottom of the social ladder must have sufficient to live by. Having ensured that, there must be hope for the children of those who are considered poor now to break out of the poverty cycle later in life. In essence, we must – (1) Help the poor; (2) Maintain social mobility.

Helping the Poor

In Singapore, it appears that while the rich has gotten richer, the poor have NOT gotten poorer. The Department of Statistics reported that the bottom 20% of our population have seen their lives improve over the last decade.

BUT there are still those amongst us who need help. Some, we meet weekly at our Meet-the-People Sessions; some, we meet almost daily in our classes or workplace. As youth, it is crucial that we remain aware of the needy. We, who have voices, must advocate for those who cannot speak. And we must do more than speak – we must act, by seeking out those who need help and find ways to help them.

As YP members, we also have the privilege of working with our Parliamentary leaders and decision makers. In the course of serving the community, we have learnt about the different avenues of assistance and paths to seek help. We know the strength of our national system, and how the good can become even better!

This confers upon us a special responsibility, to give ground feedback sincerely and honestly, without fear or favour. Let it never be said that the Young PAP is a bastion of yes-men and women, but young thinking Singaporeans who are prepared to speak our minds, defend and decide what is right and not just about being popular.

Maintaining Social Mobility – Helping the Next Generation

Our nation abides by the principle of meritocracy.

It is a tragedy when a family descends into poverty. But the tragedy is multiplied if that family’s children cannot rise out of poverty. We must not let this happen.

Hence, children from poor families must enjoy equal access to education. They must not feel compelled to leave school in order to make ends meet. Neither should they be afraid to aspire to schools of excellence, for fear that their great talent is not matched by great wealth.

Thankfully, our education system has done well compared to other countries! We have been able to subsidise education for young Singaporeas, and spread quality across our neighbourhood schools. Singapore has done this competently and should continue to evolve to become better!

As members of Young PAP, we also have a role. Those of us who have risen out of poverty can be role models, helping to guide the less fortunate along the road we have trodden ourselves. And those of us still struggling to make ends meet, can be a voice to highlight situations on the ground, while inspiring our fellow men and women as we endeavour onward and upward to build a better future.


In summary, the rich-poor gap is not an easy issue, and there are no easy answers.

As youth of today, we have an important role: Our willingness to serve and give back to society can be the inspiration for others to do the same.

If we help one another, if the privileged willingly contribute out of a sense of social responsibility, then we can achieve a precious possibility. -- Build a country where the poor know they can aspire to greatness, where the helpless – having fought the good fight – will be looked after.

We, the youth of Singapore, have been privileged with many gifts by virtue of our history and our unique situation today. With our great gifts, comes great responsibility.

Let us take up that responsibility and build a better tomorrow, starting today.

From PAP - News & Stories, "Tin Pei Ling: Globalisation – High & Low". (11/11/07)


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